The August 9, shooting of 18 year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo sparked a nationwide/worldwide outrage, and brings up many questions. Contradicting eyewitness accounts confuse what happened in the moments before the shooting. What we do know at this time is that he was unarmed and only a few days away from starting technical college. We know Darren Wilson, the officer who shot him, was taken to a hospital with a badly swollen face following the shooting, according to reports. A grand jury is meeting at the time of this report. In time the rest of the details will be revealed...maybe.
The shooting of 23 year old Kajieme Powell just 4 miles away however, was recorded for all the world to see. He was described by locals as mentally ill and disturbed. He held a knife, not a gun, and the police shot to kill. As a former police reporter, I know that police are trained to shoot to kill, but the officer in charge is the one making the decision in the moment.
I saw many shots fired as Powell went down and the officer shot multiple rounds within seconds. To me, it was clear Kajime was a disturbed individual as he screamed 'shoot me.' Would a sane individual act in the manner? I think not. Did he really have to be killed? Perhaps it's time for the law enforcement in Ferguson and elsewhere make some adjustments in their thinking and ways of reacting to the population they are sworn to protect and serve, especially those mentally disturbed individuals. There have been numerous incidents of disturbed individuals being shot by police and many of them have been black men.
Another high profile case that I will mention of a black man being killed by police is Eric Garner, 43, who repeatedly screamed after at least five NYPD officers took him down in front of a Tompkinsville, NY beauty supply store when he balked at being handcuffed. He too was a large man.
Within moments Garner, a married father of six children with two grandchildren, stopped struggling and appeared to be unconscious as police called paramedics to the scene. An angry crowd gathered, some recording with the incident. He was an asthmatic who died as a result of a chokehold that stopped this breathing. This case will be tested in the courts.
Over the past week, we also saw a rouge police officer identified as Officer Ray Albers, go ballistic in Ferguson threatening to kill unarmed protesters pointing his weapon and threatening "I will f*****g kill you." This too, was recorded for all the world to see, and there is no question about his behavior. Thankfully, he has been permanently removed from his duties in Ferguson.
And then there are the many unnamed police officers who do protect and serve, and I am sure they exist in Ferguson, Mo. When I started my early career as a journalist I knew many of them (not in Ferguson) and while there were always rumors here and there about rouge and dirty cops, the majority were salt of the earth types who wanted to help others and did every day, and I will always remember my days as a young reporter covering these many fine men and few women at the time. The majority of them are good people, and unless human nature has radically changed since that time, I know this for a fact.
Going into a crown of hostile people is a tense situation especially if things are being thrown and threats are being made, and it takes nerves of steel, and clarity of mind to do so. Police officers are people too and no one in America can be convicted without a trial. Otherwise we may as well live in Syria, or some other place where the only judicial system is the one organized by the prevalent power du'jour, if you would even call it that.
Then there is the town and people of Ferguson itself. Ferguson is basically a suburb of St. Louis and statistics show 70 per cent of the population is black. Obviously the reactions to Brown's shooting show us the amount of mistrust and anger that exists among the population and according to the Huff Post it is the ninth most segregated city in America. Of 21,000 people, two-thirds are black, and the police chief and mayor are white. Out of 6 city councilmen only one is black. According to the Huff Post, "Blacks in Ferguson are twice as likely to be stopped by police as whites, according to an annual report on racial profiling by the Missouri attorney general. Last year, 93% of arrests following car stops in Ferguson were of blacks. Ninety-two percent of searches and 80% of car stops involved blacks".
Could this contribute to the basic mistrust the people of Ferguson have of police? The report also showed that police were less likely to find contraband on the black drivers they stopped. (Police found contraband on 22 percent of black residents they stopped, compared to 34 percent of white residents.
Ferguson is clearly a town in turmoil. Who there votes?
Michael Brown was born May 20, 1996, according to Wikipedia. The Sun changed signs that day around 2 P.M, so without his time of birth we don't know whether he was a Taurus or a Gemini. Either way, his Sun was in opposition to Pluto at 1 degree of Sagittarius, falling in his 7th house of open enemies from his Sun.
Astrologer Robert Pelletier tells us, "the Sun in opposition to Pluto shows that you are defensive when challenged by others. You generally assume your opponent has more power than you and your own position is insecure. If it becomes obvious you cannot win you may turn your back on the threat and pretend it didn't exist." According to reports, Brown had an altercation with officer Darren Wilson through the window of the police vehicle, then turned and ran with his friend. Sun opposing Pluto individuals encounter powerful enemies at times in their life, and these enemies can become their undoing. In Brown's case it appears to have cost him his life.
Mars represents action and aggression and at 13 of degrees Taurus, his Mars is square Uranus at 4 degrees of Aquarius with a wide orb of 9 degrees. Mars-Uranus individuals can have a temper, and be prone to accidents, injuries, risk taking and erratic behavior. As a rule they do not like to be told what to do and can be uncompromising at times. This is a transit that could bring many sudden, surprising and even explosive situations into his life. At the time of his death, this square in his natal chart was being aspected by transiting Mars.
His Moon is in home loving Cancer and which can give great depth of feeling. These individuals have a powerful memory and sensitivity that is unique to this moon placement. At times they can experience turbulent emotions, and once these individuals become your friend, it is generally for a very long time, if not life. Cancer moon individuals seem to have an ability to sway public opinion in an emotional way-remember this. Some well know individuals with a Cancer moon include Walter Cronkite, Nick Nolte, Keanu Reeves, Babe Ruth and Bob Hope, along with the UK's Prince William.
Brown was a motivated individual with Jupiter in Capricorn falling in his ninth house of higher education trine his Mars and Mercury. According to friends he wanted to become an air conditioner technician and own his own business. He had graduated from High School just 8 days earlier and was looking forward to starting his technical training. Had he lived he would have no doubt pursued his dream.
Mars and Mercury are conjunct in Taurus at 13 and 21 degrees and at times he could be considered stubborn, or even bullheaded, once he made a decision there was no turning back. Mercury rules speech and communication and Mars rules action. This indicates a restless and eager mind, and one that would not back down from debate.
Neptune trines Michael's Sun and this would allow him to respond to what he learned both emotionally and intellectually, and this would give him a certain psychic and intuitive ability. At times these individuals have enormous talent to express and knowledge can come through osmosis, simply absorbing it naturally through the environment and his own psychic facilities. It is usually the mark of a creative and gentle personality. These transits would cause him to desire to seek out another dimension in life: spiritual, artistic or in some way different. They are dreamers and idealists, sometimes hard to pin down and don't like to be labeled.
It's hard to understand how a young person with his future in front of him can be cut down in such a tragic way. Video's have circulated showing Brown robbing a store and threatening the clerk, and some witnesses attest to him threatening officer Darren Wilson. Whether or not he is guilty of these acts death is a high price to pay, especially considering the many far worse violent acts that warrant little or no time in jail for many.
Pluto opposing the Sun tells us that Brown could gain powerful enemies in life and push back. Mars-Mercury tells us that he could be argumentative or even verbally abusive at times. Sun-Neptune can make him a dreamer, perhaps naive in some of his actions. Uranus-Mars gives him a temper and prone to taking risks and attracting unexpected situations into his life.
At the time of Brown's death transiting Saturn, at 16 degrees of Scorpio, was opposing his Mars (13 degrees Taurus) and Mercury (21 degrees of Taurus). Saturn-Mars transits can indicate frustration and is indicative of police. On August 9, Mars was at 7 degrees Scorpio having just crossed his Uranus at 4 degrees Aquarius-setting off the natal Mars-Uranus square in his chart. Mars/Uranus transits are indicative of sudden and explosive, unexpected situations and transiting Jupiter (Jupiter rules law, law enforcement, lawyers, young men and legal situations) was conjucnt his Uranus at this time. Mercury and the Sun were conjunct on this day at 16 degrees of Leo, square Saturn in the sky showing us we would hear negative and harsh news in the world and this transit was also square his natal Mars.
Michael Brown's chart contains a Yod which is a powerful aspect that looks like a triangle in the natal chart. It combines a sextile (60 degrees) and 2 quincunxs. The triangle has two 150 degree sides and the front of the triangle of 60 degrees across. The two sides point to a third planet which is the focus of the configuration and Brown's case it is his Cancer moon. Remember a Cancer moon can inspire large emotions, as certainly occurred on both the side of the protesters and law enforcement during the aftermath of the shooting in Ferguson.
A yod is considered a rare configuration that infers fate or destiny and has been called the 'finger of God', 'the finger of fate,' and has been a source of debate for decades. This natal configuration is supposed to bestow a special destiny or a special purpose in life that can be karmic in nature.
A yod can be very challenging bringing circumstances of a repeated theme. A yod is said to bring difficult circumstances in life and some astrologers believe a person with a yod to be working on a special lifetime task or mission. A yod has been referred to by some as an aspect of 'karmic readjustment', pointing to a special destiny.
There can be no doubt that as a result of his death, Michael Brown will be remembered for a very long time, and his death used as a means of pointing toward what seems to be an inordinate number of police shootings of black males.
Hopefully, his death will serve a purpose and we as a country can take an unbiased look at what many claim are an inordinate number of police shootings/arrests and harsher sentences among black males. The world has now seen the differences of opinion and viewpoints among the segregated residents of Ferguson and heard their frustrations. Hopefully, peace and healing can come to all involved, and especially to the friends and family of the dead.
Of course the shooting deaths of Michael Brown, Kajieme Powell, and Eric Garner as well as the civil unrest met with military equipment and weapons in Ferguson paint a picture of racism and law enforcement run amuck and are all part of the powerful Uranus-Pluto square that continues to dominate our skies until 2016. Change is slow, but the Uranus-Pluto square is bound to bring it.
Uranus was conjunct Pluto in Virgo during the Civil rights movement of the 1960's. The Uranus-Pluto square of this time will insure we revisit this issue and continue to make changes as a society that did not occur in the 1960's. Change is always slow in the world but this time the first black US Attorney General visited Ferguson personally, and vowed to 'stand with the people of Ferguson." The last time Uranus was in a square to Pluto was the mid 1930's. In 1934-35 we saw the U.S. Nazi Riot, New York City, New York, the Minneapolis Teamsters Strike of 1934, the Auto-Lite strike, the1934 West Coast Longshore Strike, the Textile workers strike, and the Detroit World Series riot. This was followed in 1935 with the Harlem Riot, March 19–20 and the Southern Tenant Farmers' Union Riot.
Anger over racial injustice is not new, but Uranus and Pluto shake us up and bring change and evolution to the world as a whole. Hopefully, by the time this powerful square completes the events that occurred in Ferguson will have brought awareness and healing to the town and to the country as a whole. It's the best we can hope for.
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